International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration (INSDC) improves utility of sequence data and sample traceability by making sample location and collection date description mandatory.

  • Location of collection: Specification of where the biological sample was collected, at a minimum, by using the names for countries, oceans, or seas. Relevant attributes are, BioSample geo_loc_name and DDBJ country.
  • Date and time of collection: Date and time when the specimen was collected, at least to the nearest year. Relevant attributes are, BioSample and DDBJ collection_date.

In cases where this information cannot be provided (e.g., pathogen samples for which this information would lead to identifiability of a human) or is not relevant (e.g., study of a model organism lab stock or an established cell line), you can declare an appropriate exemption using the exemption terms defined in the INSDC Missing Value Reporting Standards.


  • By the end of May 2023, geo_loc_name and collection_date will be required in all BioSample packages.
  • By the end of December 2024, country and collection_date will be required in all sequence submissions to DDBJ.

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